North Arlington, NJ -- It's good to have goals in life, especially when your life is soccer.
Indeed, a group of young players from New Jersey is finding that their dedication and love of the game is paying off.
The North Arlington Vikings soccer team has been selected out of hundreds of others to represent the United States at a tournament in Spain this summer.
Made up of 21 players ages 13 to 19, the Vikings will attend a training facility and international tournament with players from around the world at the prestigious Escuela de Futbol Huesca.
"This is the first time that a team from the United States been over to the Residential Academy, so it's kind of a big deal," said Sean Manzo, who plays center back for the team. "But everyone is excited to go."
The team was selected after goalie Angel Arce Torres attended the training facility and international tournament last year with his father. Torres advocated for his teammates.
"Going out and meeting people from other countries is probably the best part," said Arce Torres. "I met people from Paraguay, Canada, Colombia, Peru and I still talk to some of them today."
While the team is excited for this opportunity, Manzo made it clear that more goes into the sport of soccer than just "kicking a ball."
"The dedication required to get here is a lot of hard work and work ethic," Manzo said. "And never give up and always putting your all into the field."
Beyond dedication to the game, the team shares a brotherhood, a bond that the team said was only possible because they all live in the same town.
"I've played with some really good teams," Arce Torres said. "There are really strong bonds but here, it's just players that grow up together, went to school together, go to the same high school, and are just always hanging out."
For the North Arlington Vikings Soccer Team, this is a once a lifetime opportunity. (You can support their journey HERE.)
"You just can't stop," said Arce Torres. "I got to be honest, I still have moments when I am like 'is it really worth it? but you just have to wake up and focus on the future. This one trip is depending on all of our futures."
Goal! Hometown youth soccer players head to international tournament
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